How to Make an Origami Gift Box

paper origami boxes

The Spruce / Dana Hinders

Overview
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $1

Taking the time to creatively package a present shows the recipient you put extra thought into their gift. And if you learn how to fold a simple origami gift box, you'll be able to make beautiful wrappings for a variety of small gifts. The origami box featured in this quick and easy tutorial is a traditional design known as a masu box. A masu was originally a square box used to measure rice in Japan, and today masu boxes are mostly used for drinking sake. You can get festive with your box, tailoring the colors and patterns of the paper to holidays or the gift recipient’s preferences. Choose matching papers for the base and the lid, or pick two colors or patterns that are slightly different to add a bit of contrast to the project.

Tip

Scrapbook paper is preferable for this project because it is fairly thick and gives you a sturdy box. Using 12 inch-by-12 inch scrapbook paper results in a box that is 4 1/4 inches by 4 1/4 inches. 

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Watch Now: How to Make an Origami Gift Box

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Glue or double-sided tape (optional)
  • Scissors

Materials

  • 2 12 inch-by-12 inch sheets of scrapbook paper

Instructions

  1. Make the Initial Folds

    To begin the origami gift box, fold one sheet of paper in half horizontally. Unfold it, and then fold it in half vertically. Unfold to reveal a cross-crease pattern. Then, fold each corner into the center until your paper looks like this model.

    first folds of an origami gift box
    The Spruce / Dana Hinders
  2. Fold the Top and Bottom

    Fold the top and bottom to the center of the paper as shown here. Unfold.

    Folding an origami gift box
    The Spruce / Dana Hinders
  3. Fold the Left and Right Sides

    Fold the left and right sides to the center of the paper.

    folding the sides of an origami gift box
    The Spruce / Dana Hinders
  4. Form the Sides of the Box

    Open the two corners diagonal to each other, leaving the other two corners folded. Use your forefingers to coax the corner folds in, pulling the third edge upward. Tuck the top flap in to form the side of the box. Repeat on the opposite side to complete the box.

    If you are planning to use the box to give a gift that is heavy, secure the flaps with a glue stick or a bit of double-sided tape for reinforcement.

    forming the sides of an origami gift box
    The Spruce / Dana Hinders
  5. Fold the Base

    Cut the second sheet of paper to measure approximately 11 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches. Then, repeat steps 1 through 4 to fold a base for your origami gift box.

    An origami gift box base
    The Spruce / Dana Hinders
  6. Decorate Your Finished Origami Box

    Now it's time to decorate your origami gift box as desired. For something simple, you might just choose to tie a bow around the box in a coordinating color. You also can cut out paper accents in shapes of your choice to attach to the box. Or you can make origami shapes, such as paper flowers. Finally, if you have any paper scraps, consider running them through a paper shredder to create packing material for your origami gift box.

    A decorated origami gift box
    The Spruce / Dana Hinders

Tips for Making an Origami Gift Box

  • Some of the gifts you could put in an origami gift box include jewelry, a small bottle of perfume, homemade cookies (wrap them in wax paper first), wrapped candies, an ornament, or a gift card to the recipient's favorite store.
  • Once you've learned the basic box technique, you might also enjoy creating an origami exploding box card. This card uses the box-folding method to create the lid, and then you fold the second sheet of paper to make a base that doubles as a card. The resulting box is slightly larger than a standard origami gift box, which makes it appropriate for presenting bigger gifts.